Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro has signed a bill that will limit tech giant’s power to remove content. The decree is aimed at restricting the power of social media companies to remove accounts and content.
According to Bolsonaro a change of regulation was needed to combat the “arbitrary removal” of profiles. He said that the new legislation will help in protecting freedom of speech. Twitter and Facebook have removed several posts throughout the coronavirus pandemic, posted by the president and his supporters that were deemed misleading.
The details of the decree so far are only that the tech giants will have to provide “just cause and motivation” ahead of removing an account or content. The new law will focus on providing clarity on the power of social media companies to police content on their platforms. The law will be enforced despite being unclear.
The President and his allies have frequently posted on social media which were removed since the start of the pandemic. Approximately 15 videos were removed from a channel that belonged to Bolsonaro for spreading misinformation regarding COVID-19. Facebook also complied with an order last year by the Brazilian Supreme Court to block the accounts of many of the president’s top allies accused of promoting misinformation against federal judges.